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The South-Central All-Star team came into Game 2 of Saturday's 33rd Annual Luther Bedford All-Star Classic Saturday at Young as a heavy favorite against the North-West squad.
South-Central led by just one at halftime, but behind Curie's Caelynn Manning-Allen — a 6-4 Kansas recruit — it pulled away late for a 64-59 victory.
Manning-Allen scored a game-high 13 points to go along with eight rebounds and four blocks.
No team held a lead larger than five points in the first half. South-Central did not take control until the final seven minutes of the game, when it used a 10-2 run to open its largest lead at 57-45.
Allen and Morgan Park's guard tandem of Kierra Graves and Tristian Anderson scored four points apiece in the final seven minutes. Anderson and Graves each had three steals and Allen added three blocks during that stretch.
"This is what you work hard for all four years,'' Manning-Allen said. ''To leave as an All-Star and play in this game."
A big key for the South-Central team was the familiarity between the players. Graves, Allen and Anderson all play with the Mean Streets AAU basketball program.
"We weren't expecting the game to be as intense as it was," Graves said. "But the three of us have played together for so long, that we knew what to do to get the victory."
Marshall's Yowana Posey led the North-West team with 12 points. Raby's Adrianna Eaton scored nine points and Chantell Wilson added eight.
In the first game, featuring a different set of stars, the South-Central squad opened the contest on a 16-5 run en route to a 49-24 victory over the North-West team.
South-Central was led in scoring by Brooks' Dayneeia Thrash and Hyde Park's Catherine Harris, who scored 10 points apiece.
Thrash is hoping to walk-on at Illinois.
"I know I can play on that level," Thrash said. "I have a few other offers, but I am willing to go down there and prove myself. In a game like this I hope I was able to open up a few more eyes."
Taft's Chelsea Thornton paced the North-West team with six points.